Call for Papers IPOL Conference, Milan 28 / 29 May 2020

Abstracts and Vlogs are to be submitted by Friday 14th February 2020

Luxury in the Age of Technology

Luxury, innovation and technology have always been intertwined. Whether rooted in the manufacturing techniques developed during the eighteenth century or the emergence of the kinds of digital processes that impact on design, craftsmanship and production today, this fundamental relationship persists. Technology continues to influence our lives and decision making processes, as it always has. Circular economic models address the need to be aware of the impact of our actions on the production of goods and services. Data driven information informs and enhances our understanding of the customer and can provide goods and services to address their individual needs. This is in stark contrast to the mass produced ‘services’ which—through global portals—contradict the very nature of customisation, with its emphasis on the unique, the bespoke and the singular, over mass consumption.

It could be said that the roles of manufacturing and craftsmanship are, and remain, critical components of how luxury is defined. But is the impact of digital technologies changing our very understanding of what luxury means today? Should the notion of luxury be adapted/re-examined? If so, what form should luxury take in terms of reflecting and reacting to continued advancements in technological processes, opportunities and services? Current concerns that need addressing include consumption, waste and the impact of our actions on the planet, health and well-being, equality and change. An emphasis on corporate social responsibility has enabled the tracking and tracing of finished goods and the materials used in their construction, including their environmental impact and the well-being of those involved in production. As the industry becomes more transparent, can luxury continue to remain beyond scrutiny?

The luxury customer has historically demanded the best. But now customers are also demanding transparency, traceability and accountability. Through recognition of how mass consumption is polluting the environment we are beginning to better understand the importance of circular practice within the supply chain. Technology can, and is, being instrumental in organising and defining this new process. As artificial intelligence becomes common place and aids our decision making process, will the exponential growth of luxury prove to be the most effective or efficient course of action, or the least?

With this in mind we welcome papers that contribute to the emergent debates and discussions concerning the relationship between luxury, innovation and technology. We welcome papers that explore these links in all product and service categories including manufacture, on-line (including e-commerce), marketing, the virtual luxury experience, bespoke products, design, materials and innovation.

The 2020 conference provides a platform to continue to expand our understanding of luxury, through multiple disciplinary lenses  To this end, we welcome contributions from various disciplines and practices including automotive, architecture, engineering, fashion, product, digital design, retail, hospitality – all of which we invite to explore luxury through a critical lens with a view to encouraging rigorous debate.. 

Themes and Strands

Luxury and Technology

This theme addresses technologies which impact on luxury, in terms of adoption, data acquisition, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and social media.

Luxury and Innovation

How does innovation affect/impact/alter our experience and understanding of what constitutes luxury, including changes to the retail environment (physical and online), new forms of communication, branding, manufacture, materials, and craftsmanship.

Democratised Luxury

Consideration of democratised luxury will include collaboration, supply chain, branding, the retail environment.

Luxury and the Circular Economy

Issues of social responsibility will inform this theme, including materials, distribution, manufacture, and the ethics and practices of sustainable luxury.

To submit your abstract click here

For information about the organisers click here